Compound Adjectives, Definition and Examples

English Compound Adjectives, Definition and Examples


Compound Adjectives, Definition and Examples


Adjectives are words used before the name, qualifying the name. There are many types of adjectives in English, one of them is compound adjectives.

In general, compound adjectives are formed by combining two different words. When these two different words are combined, they can either be similar in meaning to the words or have a completely different meaning.

The words that make up the compound adjectives are generally as follows: The first word tells us meaning or type. It tells us what kind of word, what kind of object or purpose it is. The second word is the person or object the first word describes.

Note: If we understand the two words that make up the combined word, we can have an idea of the meaning of the new word that will emerge.¬† We can guess a word we’ve never met before.


Compound adjectives are adjectives containing two or more words. A hyphen is placed between the two words that make up the compound adjective, and these adjectives are used before the names. There are many types of compound adjectives, of which the most commonly used are:

Number+ noun: four-minute, one-way, ten-page, two-hour etc.

  • We are responsible for a ten-page assignment.

(For 1000 Examples of Compound Words in English)

Adjective+ noun: long-term, high-quality, last-minute etc.

  • This week we covered long-term memory in learning psychology.


Adjective + present participle: easy-going, good-looking, slow-moving etc.

  • She is the most easy-going child in school.


Noun + present participle: english-speaking, time-saving, record-breaking etc.

  • This is an English-speaking country. Other languages are spoken more rarely.


Noun + adjective: smoke- free, ice- cold, gluten- free, family- friendly etc.

  • The cafe on the main street is a smoking-free ¬†venue.


Noun + past participle: water-cooled, middle-age, wind-powered etc.

  • All of the breads made in this oven are gluten-free.


Adverb+ past participle: well-known, highly-respected etc.

  • The man who is performing today is a well-known person.


Adjective+ past participle: long- forgotten, short-lived, ready-made etc.

  • Butterflies are short-lived animals.